Microsoft is now a part of the TechNexus Community
TechNexus Tenants — take advantage of this great opportunity!
Microsoft has begun a residency in TechNexus to provide you with the resources your company needs to grow. That means free software, expert training, and exclusive events.
Sonal Mane is the Microsoft Technical Evangelist who you will most often see around TechNexus. You can meet with her to discuss how Microsoft can help your business.
Sonal will be holding office hours at TechNexus. To view Sonal’s office hours and schedule a time to meet, simply visit http://ohours.org/sonalmane.
Microsoft will be hosting custom trainings and events for tenants at TechNexus in November, so please stay tuned for more information on those!
For more information about exclusive Microsoft offers for TechNexus Tenants, please visit the TechNexus blog.
A Community Like No Other
It’s not the facility that makes TechNexus special. It’s not the organizations like the Illinois Technology Association or the Clean Energy Trust that are headquartered here. It’s not even the more than 130 companies that have incubated in our Chicago facility.
What makes TechNexus so valuable is the community that collaborates here. It’s more than 75 user groups, technology clubs and roundtables that meet here each month. It’s more than 2,500 entrepreneurs, executives, tech geeks and others that flow through these doors.
That community of people passionate about building a more connected, collaborative tech industry, nurturing startups and grooming the talent pipeline is unlike any place seen before in Chicago. It’s grown steadily since TechNexus was created in 2007, but also quite deliberately.
The TechNexus collaborative ecosystem is full of companies fulfilling their missions through innovative applications of technology to business and consumer problems. TechNexus collaborators range from emerging start-ups to mature enterprises. View our list of collaborators or check out the profiles below to learn more about what goes on at TechNexus.
DecisiveBI, Delivering Premier Business Intelligence to the Middle Market
After fifteen years of working in the data warehousing and business intelligence industry, Matt Krudop noticed that mid-sized companies were not having their analytics demands met. The costly investment in the build, deployment, and staffing required for an in-house intelligence solution was simply too much.
So Krudop developed a business model specifically for mid-sized businesses. His company, Decisive BI, possesses a sophisticated infrastructure of hardware and software as well as a dedicated staff of business intelligence experts. Decisive BI provides its clients with in-depth, customizable analytics and intelligence solutions at much more sensible prices.
Decisive BI is now a leader in enterprise-class data management and analytics. The company’s Managed BI℠ solution securely hosts, standardizes and structures complex data to provide its clients with concise, rapid and meaningful customized analysis capabilities. Further, Managed BI℠ unlocks data and business insights by delivering information to virtually any desktop or mobile device, including the Apple iPhone and iPad and all Android devices. The result is real-time access and analysis directly from the cloud.
Decisive BI also offers a range of advisory services to address all facets of the development, implementation, and management of business intelligence solutions which includes strategic services, development services, and on-going production support services.
Creating a Happier Workforce at HaveMyShift.com
It was early 2007 in Chicago when a Starbucks barista decided he wanted to go to the Super Bowl in Miami, where his Bears were playing the Indianapolis Colts. There was just one problem. He was scheduled to work.
So he created a message board where fellow Starbucks employees could see his or others’ work shifts that they’re happy to pass off. And just about every employee in the area signed up.
He partnered with Sean Corbett, who had a computer engineering background, and took his business idea to TechStars Boston, where they were able to drum up some seed money. Armed with cash and confidence, they returned to Chicago ready to make their vision a reality. The original founder, however, was quickly swooned by Groupon, and Corbett had to decide whether to scrap the idea or fight to keep the project moving forward.
He chose the latter, and knew that TechNexus was the place to find talent who could help him. Corbett made his pitch at a lean startup event where Randy Janzen, who’s had experience with a number of startups, was in the audience. Janzen liked what he heard, and he’s now in charge of business development for HaveMyShift.com.
The company now uses a fully functional website to give employees the flexibility in their jobs that they’re looking for. Starbucks employees in major cities across the United States and Canada are taking advantage of HaveMyShift to improve their quality of life or make some extra money.
With Starbucks, the company operates with a pay-to-post model. Employees who post a shift pay a flat fee of five dollars to HaveMyShift if the shift is picked up. Additional cash can be added by the poster as an extra incentive for whoever picks up the shift.
By contrast, an agreement reached between Drew Gilliam, another HaveMyShift co-founder who joined shortly after Janzen, and Argo Tea on Jan. 3 of this year launched a new pilot program. They are trying out a corporate-sponsored model in which Argo pays HaveMyShift for the service they provide, and the employees pay nothing. The men of HaveMyShift believe this will be the predominant model as more companies begin to see the service as a valuable benefit to their employees.
“Argo values their employees’ flexibility,” Janzen said.
And happy employees lead to well-run companies.
The Accenture Customer Innovation Network, the top-four consulting firm’s showcase of consumer-facing technology, has taken notice. Through a partnership with HaveMyShift, Accenture Customer Innovation Network now demo’s the product at their retail and CPG client workshops for all executives who want to understand the future consumer.
CohesiveFT, A Cutting-Edge Chicago Cloud Company
TechNexus is full of innovative companies, many of which harness the power of cloud-computing technology. But one TechNexus company, CohesiveFT, is not just using cloud technology: It’s defining the ways that businesses can use it, too.
Founded in 2007, CohesiveFT first began to work with virtualization and software-as-a-service with Amazon. Back then they had only four employees working in a single room in TechNexus.
“We were working as a startup, and we were in business the same day we walked into TechNexus,” said Dwight Koop, cofounder and COO of CohesiveFT. “And as the founders, we weren’t cosigning a lease.”
Within a month, the company had a dozen employees working out of two rooms, and they were soon working remotely from across the globe.
“The flexibility of TechNexus is unbelievable,” said Koop. “They wanted us to succeed, and they weren’t going to get in the way of that.”
Since moving into TechNexus, CohesiveFT has developed an elastic server, which is a provisioning service for building virtual machines out of components, and VPN-Cubed, the first commercial solution for controlling networking in a cloud environment. Having recently partnered with IBM, the CohesiveFT smart elastic server runs on the IBM SmartCloud Enterprise. The power of IBM’s platform has allowed Koop to develop flexible and secure virtual infrastructures for more than a hundred clients.
Still headquartered in Chicago, CohesiveFT now has offices in London and Palo Alto, Calif.
TechNexus is Fertile Ground for Flowerpetal.com
Web-based floral distribution company Flowerpetal.com has taken root and grown at TechNexus since joining the collaborative ecosystem at 200 South Wacker Drive all the way back in March 2007, becoming only the second firm to set up shop in the space.
Now in growth phase, the company has derived tremendous benefit from the collaborative environment at TechNexus, where knowledge and experience are perpetually around the corner.
“I meet experienced developers and business people here all the time,” said Brian Crummy, Flowerpetal.com’s president and co-founder.
The company works with suppliers to move excess inventory, using the company’s proprietary technology to sell flowers to retail florists at discount prices.
“I’m working on expanding the business model to address the needs of mobile users,” said Crummy. “There are people working at TechNexus who can tell you what sells on mobile, how it should work on mobile, and what it takes to develop on mobile. There’s a lot of value in that.”
Recent Clubhouse Check-ins
From Twitter @TECHNEXUS
- “An incubator that's been a fixture in the Chicago scene for years.” -The Atlantic
- “The gateway to collaboration for Chicago’s technology leaders.” –Business News Daily
- “A nurturing community dedicated to the diverse tech business ecosystem blossoming in the City of Big Shoulders.” –Business News Daily
- “TechNexus’ status as a top-ten incubator... is based off the one thing that matters: the companies that call TechNexus home.” –PandoDaily
- “The bridge between small companies and huge enterprises.” –DeskMag
- “Known as the crown jewel of the Chicago Tech Community, TechNexus is the premier forum where Chicago’s technology leaders gather.” –Elite Daily
- “TechNexus aims to be a collaboration environment rather than a program.” –Tech.li
- “A cozy coworking space.” –Technori
- “TechNexus was recently voted as one of the top ten incubators in the US; an impressive accomplishment, especially considering they do not consider themselves an incubator…” –DeskMag